Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 26, 2012.

Update #4

New sensors: Radiation, Dust/Particulates, O3, VOC's

The announcement of this project on Kickstarter has generated interest from people all over the world who are dealing with pollution in their local cities and neighborhoods.  These issues are naturally widely varied, caused by any number of different sources. "Air Quality" has a very different meaning depending on where you are, and in many cases NO2 and CO alone don't tell the whole story.  Hundreds of people have reached out asking for the ability to sense for specific types of pollutants, and we've been thinking about how to accommodate these important requests in a manner that is manageable for both us and the user.

To that end, we're happy to report that the outside sensor box which was initially designed to house just NO2, CO, and temp/humidity sensors has now been re-engineered into a modular plug-and-play system.  We've also designed an initial set of sensor upgrade modules that can be purchased as part of this campaign, immediately:

Dust/Particulate Matter - $40 : Particle pollution ranges in size and shape and can be made up of hundreds of different chemicals and solids. Can sometimes be emitted directly from a source (factory/fire/cars), but also form out of reactions from other pollutants in the atmosphere.  This is one of the most important indicators of the quality of the air you breathe.

Ozone/O3 - $25 : Ground-level ozone peaks can have immediate effects on the lungs, respiratory tract, and eyes, but also reacts with and exacerbates the effects of other pollutants, such as particulates.

Gamma and Beta Radiation - $60 : Since the Fukushima accident, efforts to create networks of citizen-gathered radiation readings have been ongoing. 

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's)/Hydrocarbons (HC) - $25 : Describes numerous different kinds of harmful vapors from gasoline and other fuels, cleansers, paints, preservatives, to name a few.

Details of how this system works, and the design itself, will all be released as open source. More sensor options will be coming. You can add any or all of these new sensors to either of the DIY kits or the complete Air Quality Egg by simply adding the cost of the sensors you want to your pledge (we will confirm your order after the campaign ends).

Please help us spread the word about these updates to your networks!  You could tweet something like this:

"#AirQualityEgg just released open source sensor upgrades for radiation, particulates, O3 & VOC's! http://kck.st/GUlync"

Comments

    1. Missing_small

      Creator Emanuele Tumminia on May 28, 2012

      Hi I liked a lot your project, and gave a pledge of 53$ for the Arduino shield.
      Now I changed my mind (actually, I don't have an Arduino kit, and I was just planning to buy one in the future), and I'd like to pay the difference to get the reward with the complete Air quality egg, for a pledge of 113$ with non-US shipping included. Is it possible? Tell me how to pay the difference (Paypal? Mastercard?).

    2. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Allard Hoeve on May 2, 2012

      I missed the upgrade window of opportunity :( I'd like to pledge another 40$ for particulates. Is that still possible after the credit card charge has been made?

    3. Sm_eye_fullcolour.small

      Creator #Sensemakers on April 25, 2012

      @lars Yes, they will work with the shield too

    4. Larsi_big.small

      Creator Lars Schumann on April 16, 2012

      Quick question - can I use the additional sensors only for the outside sensor box or will it also work with the shield? It should if you go with your I2C idea...

    5. Shoks.small

      Creator Benjamin Bangsberg on April 16, 2012

      is there a way to make the sensor unit Solar Powered? I am thinking about trying to convince my workplace to put one up... I don't think we have any electrical outlets to use for the sensors.

    6. Missing_small

      Creator Claudio Carbone on April 15, 2012

      Will I be able to buy them after the project is founded?
      It's just a matter of spreading the creditcard bills across multiple months really ;)

    7. Sm_eye_fullcolour.small

      Creator #Sensemakers on April 15, 2012

      @claudio, just add the cost of the additional sensors to your pledge

    8. Missing_small

      Creator Claudio Carbone on April 15, 2012

      So I pledged for the 53$ kit+intl ss.
      What should I do to get some of the new sensors? Just pledge more?

    9. Sean2.small

      Creator Sean Bonner on April 14, 2012

      It says quite a bit that when asked a completely reasonable question you result to insults and attacks and then just ignore people. Guess I have my answer now for when people asking me about your project.

    10. Sm_eye_fullcolour.small

      Creator #Sensemakers on April 14, 2012

      @chris We have 4 different expansion modules right now and more on the way. Building reward levels for every combination would be way too cumbersome. But I can add a $250 level to accommodate the (current) full suite of sensors if that helps. I'll do that now.

    11. Christopher-2829.small

      Creator Christopher R. Souser on April 14, 2012

      @Ed Even if no discount.. the scale of which this project has grown and to ensure the backers get what they want and not have to sort out all of the particulars afterwards I think to those making the commitment to invest you can at least make additional backer levels and have it better documented what people are requesting rather than leaving it open to translation or post math calculation or sort it out 'maybe' in a survey. I also think being that it makes backers more comfortable if they have a commitment from you on what they are expecting.. vs. saying yeah you gave us $100 and everything above that there is no commitment from us to delivery anything other than promised in the 100+ backer reward.

    12. Sean2.small

      Creator Sean Bonner on April 13, 2012

      Ed - When I say "sensor" that is the same as saying "tube" as there are a number of "radiation sensors" that are not using tubes at all - they are also not very practical, but they are sensors. There are not a wide range of tubes that give accurate readings - there are a wide range of tubes that detect radiation, yes, but they don't measuring it accurately. I hope you'll do the right thing and disclose that the radiation readings your device will take are not to be relied on, or consider a more sensitive tube so that the data collected can be of use to the world. I'd really love to be able to publicly support this as a viable option.

    13. Sm_eye_fullcolour.small

      Creator #Sensemakers on April 13, 2012

      We are designing our own radiation sensor. We haven't chosen a tube yet, but can easily accept a WIDE RANGE of tubes. J305β and SBM-20 are all easily within $60 price point for us. I've indicated that they measure Gamma and Beta radiation on the page.

    14. Sean2.small

      Creator Sean Bonner on April 13, 2012

      Hey Ed - I just looked through your stuff again to make sure I didn't overlook something obvious, and you do specifically mention Fukushima in your update above, so if you are not interested in measuring the actual contamination from Fukushima I think you should clarify that. That's where my confusion is coming from, the radiation contamination from Fukushima is largely Alpha.

    15. Sean2.small

      Creator Sean Bonner on April 13, 2012

      Ed - Calm down man. I don't know where all this hostility is coming from. I'm not talking about air quality - I looked through your published material and all of it (that I found) is related to air quality, which is great, but that's not what I'm asking about. I'm asking specifically about the $60 radiation sensor you mention in this update, which you still haven't answered. Please answer the one simple question I have:

      What radiation sensor are you using?

      I want to know because if you found a sensor that measures Alpha, Beta and Gamma to the same accuracy of a 2" pancake for $60 I want to know where to find them myself. I'd love for something like that to exist, but I haven't found one, our team hasn't found one, and every researcher and manufacturer we've talked to has said they don't exist. It would be *awesome* if you have some new info on this.

      If you are using a sensor that doesn't Alpha, Beta and Gamma (Beta and Gamma only isn't good enough) then it's your responsibility to disclose that publicly. Sparkfun, Adafruit, etc all note what sensors they are using and anything that is less sensitive than a 2" pancake is clearly noted as for novelty purposes only, not for safety or accurate representation of the radiation levels in an environment. You are right, there are a number of GM tubes available that only measure Beta and Gamma that are sub $100, but readings taken by them are reliable. We've tested and played with basically every tube and device available on the market right now and can see first hand how off the cheaper tubes are.

      I'm not trying to be a jerk, I'm just asking a simple question. What radiation sensor are you using that you can offer it for $60?

    16. Sm_eye_fullcolour.small

      Creator #Sensemakers on April 13, 2012

      @sean Actually I clearly answered that question on twitter an hour before you went off on your 30-tweet rant which, no, I had no intention of responding to.

      The Air Quality Egg is not about Fukushima or Cesium 137 and we don't currently have ANY japanese backers as far as I know.

      Our views on data accuracy and what is "reliable" have already been addressed elsewhere in numerous places, including the FAQ, numerous blog posts, previous questions on this very comment thread. We even made a 15 min movie talking about this. This tells me that you couldn't take the time to actually understand what we are doing here and are simply interested in furthering your own views and plugging your own work on radiation monitoring and safecast. Not cool.

      What we are building is a distributed, high-resolution, persistent data community. Completely different than driving through the countryside with an "accurate" monitor and taking a single reading and moving on never to return. The dataset will be looked at in a completely different manner.

      As far as the radiation sensor itself, we haven't needed to make a decision on the tube yet, since the hardware we are building accepts a wide range of tubes. And in fact, there are many tubes available for far less than $100 that measure Gamma and Beta radiation. We are perfectly comfortable at $60. Furthermore, the hardware is modular and open source. We can add a more expensive tube if we want and anyone else that wants to sell a more expensive Alpha-sensitive tube can do so.
      The Air Quality Egg is not about Fukushima or Cesium 137 and we don't currently have ANY japanese backers as far as I know.

      Our views on data accuracy and what is "reliable" have already been addressed elsewhere in numerous places, including the FAQ, numerous blog posts, previous questions on this very comment thread. We even made a 15 min movie for chrissake talking about this. We also already had plenty of conversations with air quality scientists who have taken the same tact as you. Luckily, we've also had great conversations with scientists (as well as the US EPA) who have endorsed our work here and are excited by the possibilities of distributed, high-resolution, persistent data. Completely different than driving through the countryside with a safecast monitor taking a single reading and moving on never to return.

      As far as the radiation sensor itself, we haven't needed to make a decision on the tube yet, since the hardware we are building accepts a wide range of tubes. And in fact, there are many tubes available for far less than $100 that measure Gamma and Beta radiation.
      The Air Quality Egg is not about Fukushima or Cesium 137 and we don't currently have ANY japanese backers as far as I know.

      Our views on data accuracy have already been addressed elsewhere in numerous places. We already had plenty of conversations with air quality scientists who have taken the same approach toward the sensors we are using as you have. Luckily, we've also had great conversations with scientists (as well as the US EPA) who have endorsed our work here and are excited by the possibilities of distributed, high-resolution, persistent data. Completely different than driving through the countryside with a safecast monitor taking a single reading and moving on never to return.

    17. Sean2.small

      Creator Sean Bonner on April 13, 2012

      Hi Ed- You dodged this question when I asked you on twitter so I'll ask it here as well - what kind of radiation sensor are you planning to use? I'm asking this specific question because the major contaminate released from Fukushima that is all over the place is Cesium 137 which is al alpha emitter, and the lower cost GM tubes dont measure alpha, making them useless in detecting any of the effects from Fukushima - and readings taking excluding alpha or beta (some tubes only measure gamma) are misleading. The 2" pancake which is the industry standard for radiation measurement (a number of different manufacturers produce this) is a $100 raw part, so I'm incredibly curious what you have found to use that will accurately measure radiation - OR if you've decided not to measure the full spectrum and go with a cheaper tube I think you should be open about that and disclose that the readings you take will not be accurate. But ideally, you'll just use something that takes a valid measurement of A, B & G and help everyone by increasing the available, reliable data in the world.

    18. Sm_eye_fullcolour.small

      Creator #Sensemakers on April 13, 2012

      @Mark That's fine, just add the cost to your pledge with the international shipping.

      @Chris I hear you, but we don't have room for a discount. We won't be making money on this. And the issue with adding another reward level is that we will probably be adding more sensor module options so I think the easiest way is really to just add the costs in of the sensors that you want.

    19. Sm_eye_fullcolour.small

      Creator #Sensemakers on April 13, 2012

      @tom You can add any or all of these new sensors to either of the DIY kits or the complete Air Quality Egg by simply adding the cost of the sensors you want to your pledge (we will confirm your order after the campaign ends).

    20. Missing_small

      Creator tom abeles on April 13, 2012

      it is not clear how one upgrades the egg from this site. For example, adding a VOC sensor

    21. Missing_small

      Creator Benjamin Lebsanft on April 13, 2012

      I doubt that WiFi networks are radioactive ;)

    22. Missing_small

      Creator XD on April 13, 2012

      Is the radiation sensor sensitive enough to pick up mobile radiation levels and other consumer devices like wifi?

    23. Missing_small

      Creator Benjamin Lebsanft on April 13, 2012

      +1 for more reward levels

    24. Christopher-2829.small

      Creator Christopher R. Souser on April 13, 2012

      If we want all four extra sensors.. and are already at the $100 level.. is there a discount of any sort? Such as get VOCs, Radiation, Ozone, Dust, NO2, CO, temperature, & humidity all for a single reward level? I believe with KickStarter you can add additional reward levels as the project goes on.. and this would probably also help the project. I would love to see this new level added in between the $113 level and the 2500 level!!!

    25. Christopher-2829.small

      Creator Christopher R. Souser on April 13, 2012

      So I am not a 100% clear as to how to get the extra sensors.. if I am at the $100 level now.. are you saying after the project is funded I can add the extra sensors to be part of the original shipment.. or I need to add it now?

    26. Missing_small

      Creator Mark chan on April 12, 2012

      How about if I want the sensors but this is international order?

    27. Sm_eye_fullcolour.small

      Creator #Sensemakers on April 12, 2012

      @ebravick You are right, just re-pledge to a $250 level.

      @Celestino Look here plz: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/edborden/air-quality-egg#HowAreThesThinCaliTheDataYouAreGettSeemSuspHowCanYouProvItIsGoodData

      @Jose The Egg does not contain any sensors, it collects the data from the sensor box outside and passes it to the internet. The sensor box is designed with a sensor bus. More info on the google group: http://groups.google.com/group/airqualityegg/browse_thread/thread/4b0c92105bbac49

    28. Missing_small

      Creator José Tinoco on April 12, 2012

      But is there physical space inside the egg to hold as much sensors as we want? And was the egg - that is now in a late prototype stage, as far as I understand - designed from scratch for multiple sensor compatibility? (does it have a sensor bus, or something like it?)

    29. Img_0037%201.small

      Creator Celestino Galan Couto on April 12, 2012

      Could you tell me how much cost the mantenance of the sensors, how to calibrare them, the time life of the sensors, the acurrate of measurements, etc ?

      Thanks

    30. Office_clip.small

      Creator ebravick on April 12, 2012

      So... if we are in the US, and we want the fully assembled egg option ($100) plus all the new sensors, we re-pledge $250? My assumption here (having just re-pledged) is that the Amazon checkout is smart enough to not charge us our original pledge plus this pledge... I'm sure this can be sorted out later. I'm super excited by the new sensor options...

    31. Sm_eye_fullcolour.small

      Creator #Sensemakers on April 12, 2012

      Sorry for the confusion on how to buy these! Go ahead and just add the amount of the cost of the sensors to your pledge. AFTER the campaign is complete, we will have to follow up with everyone to confirm orders. It's the only way to do it.

    32. Kirkphoto_sm.small

      Creator Kirk Mower on April 12, 2012

      Read this over a few times - Ed says 'simply' add the extra amount to your pledge - but if you do that there is no way to indicate _which_ of the sensors you are after other than doing the math - e.g. how much _over_ $83 or $113 did pledger X put in ($25, $40, $65, $85, $100, $125, ....)

    33. Bio_picture_for_web_96dpi.small

      Creator Jonathan Brier on April 12, 2012

      @jmsaavedra Thanks for the info. :)

    34. Kirkphoto_sm.small

      Creator Kirk Mower on April 12, 2012

      Yeah - got the email - like the idea - came to pledge extra for a couple sensors - but can't find anywhere to 'add' these to my pledge ($113 for outside US complete egg)

    35. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Allard Hoeve on April 12, 2012

      @Ken: good question. I cannot add the modules either.

    36. Missing_small

      Creator jmsaavedra on April 12, 2012

      @Jonathan sensor lifetimes range from 3 - 10 years, depending on which. There's no explicit maintenance needed, and you can read about calibration info here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/edborden/air-quality-egg#HowAreThesThinCaliTheDataYouAreGettSeemSuspHowCanYouProvItIsGoodData

      @Kertus because we're using a plug-in DC power supply, we don't need to worry about power in the way we would if this were battery powered. We'll have plenty of juice coming from your wall!

    37. Missing_small

      Creator Ken Waldron on April 12, 2012

      Based on your recent announcement, how do I indicate the new sensors I am interested in? I can update my pledge amount, but the new sensors are not an option.

    38. Paul.small

      Creator Kertus R on April 12, 2012

      Just to be clear, there aren't any power or processing issues when adding on ALL of the sensors and running them at the same time. Right?

    39. Bio_picture_for_web_96dpi.small

      Creator Jonathan Brier on April 12, 2012

      What is the estimated lifetime effectiveness of the AirQualityEgg sensors? What kind of maintenance would be needed and roughly how often would they need to be serviced to keep them calibrated and accurate to specs?

    40. Sm_eye_fullcolour.small

      Creator #Sensemakers on April 12, 2012

      I think this really depends on what matters to YOU, but I would probably rate Particulates at the top, then O3, then radiation, then VOC's. If you live near an oil refinery or something, VOC's are probably at the top. It depends on you.

    41. 148517_1507797889042_1057163675_31162039_6928702_n.small

      Creator keith on April 12, 2012

      (except for Dust/Particulate Matter :))

    42. 148517_1507797889042_1057163675_31162039_6928702_n.small

      Creator keith on April 12, 2012

      Could you please rate the plug-ins so that we can know what is most interesting?

    43. Sm_eye_fullcolour.small

      Creator #Sensemakers on April 12, 2012

      The system can fit all of the new sensors in one unit.

    44. Missing_small

      Creator Alexis Melvin on April 12, 2012

      How many of the sensors can I add?

    45. Sm_eye_fullcolour.small

      Creator #Sensemakers on April 12, 2012

      They can be added on at any time.

    46. Missing_small

      Creator Gavin Chester on April 12, 2012

      Hi, Do they need to be added now or at build time, or can they be added on later?

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    Application beta tester. Even if you don't collect your own data, you can still benefit from applications developed by the community that uses the aggregate open data from Air Quality Eggs around the world.

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    Custom air quality sensor shield for Arduino with ability to sense NO2, CO, temp, humidity. This will allow you to build your own sensor system with your own Arduino and participate in the community by generating data with the same sensors as everyone else. Shipping to US address included.

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    Sensor up a CITY. Let's do a big rally to kick it off. We'll come with 100 Air Quality Eggs, run a clinic, do some talks about sensing/science/community, have an exchange of ideas. Our travel is included to anywhere in US/Europe. 100 people will take home Eggs. Instant critical mass. This is a great way for corporations who want to sponsor this project to get involved, either to give back to the community or engage their own employees in the movement.

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